Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Canada's largest newspaper

York teachers learn signs of child poverty

Program addresses growing income gap in affluent board

High school students without money face special challenges

Toronto Star, by TESS KALINOWSKI, EDUCATION REPORTER, page F5, January 16, 2004

When it's lunchtime, they pretend they're not hungry or they forgot their lunch.

When it's Take Your Child to Work Day, they've forgotten their permission slip.

On pizza and hot dog days, they claim they don't like every kid's favourite foods.

These are the signs of child poverty that teachers in York Region — with one of the province's most affluent and highest-achieving school boards — were being trained to recognize at a conference yesterday.

Many are becoming increasingly familiar with the tactics children employ to avoid the embarrassment of not having any money.

Among York's mushrooming dream homes, a growing number of kids are sleeping on the concrete floors of illegal basement apartments, said school board superintendent Vicki Bismilla, who helped organize the Richmond Hill meeting that drew about 400 teachers and administrators.

"It was gnawing away at me that we were not dealing with poverty. School is the place where the red flags come up," she told the conference.

Bismilla cited areas of south Markham, Keswick and Maple that are being settled by immigrants and lower-income residents from Toronto, bringing welcome diversity but also significant challenges to York classrooms.

Because of its affluence, many people don't recognize that there are pockets of dire need in York, said board chair Bill Crothers.

"Poverty indirectly impacts all our schools," he said. "If you don't address it, you're not doing anybody any service."

The board has already identified 19 "Performance Plus" schools, with about 10,000 children, which get extra teaching resources and social supports, said superintendent Neil Beatty. That's up from 12 five years ago. Next year, Beatty said, the number will increase to 25 as the board tries to respond to the region's galloping growth.

"When you're up against schools that are among the highest achieving in the province, schools at the bottom look really bad," he said.

While many at the conference talked about the effects of poverty on the cognitive development and health of young children, Maple High School principal Jim Orfanakos spoke about what being poor means to teens.

Typically, a high-school student is faced with the expense of proms and a graduation trip, which can cost hundreds of dollars, and even routine costs such as $25 to $40 for a team uniform, $25 for a yearbook or $20 to $50 for course materials.

"No kid is to be deprived or left out because they are suffering financial hardship," Orfanakos said. He lets staff know there are funds for students who can't afford uniforms, vouchers for those with nothing to eat and that field trips are planned only if they contribute to students' education.

Many teenagers living in poverty don't like to leave school at the end of the day, he said, because it's a warm place where they can meet their friends without embarrassment.

Don't Spank

Canadian Paediatric Society - Spanking

Don't Spank - Canadian Paediatric Society

Effective discipline for children

Reaffirmed: February 1, 2014

Principal author(s)

P Nieman, S Shea; Canadian Paediatric Society, Community Paediatrics Committee

Paediatric Child Health 2004;9(1):37-41

The word discipline means to impart knowledge and skill - to teach. However, it is often equated with punishment and control. There is a great deal of controversy about the appropriate ways to discipline children, and parents are often confused about effective ways to set limits and instill self-control in their child.

In medical and secular literature, there is great diversity of opinion about the short-term and long-term effects of various disciplinary methods, especially the use of disciplinary spanking. This statement reviews the issues concerning childhood discipline and offers practical guidelines for physicians to use in counselling parents about effective discipline.

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that physicians take an anticipatory approach to discipline, including asking questions about techniques used in the home. Physicians should actively counsel parents about discipline and should strongly discourage the use of spanking. Read More ..

Corporal Punishment Damaging to Children

ABC News USA - Spanking children Leads to aggression

Spanking May Lead to Aggression Later in Life

07 February, 2012

Physical punishment of children, such as spanking, is increasingly linked with long-term adverse consequences, researchers wrote.

An analysis of research conducted since the 1990 adoption of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child suggests that no studies have found positive consequences of physical punishment, according to Joan Durrant of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and Ron Ensom of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

While some studies have found little effect either way, most research has uncovered a range of negative outcomes, including increased aggression and later delinquency, Durrant and Ensom wrote online in CMAJ.

The clinical implication, they suggested, is that doctors who are familiar with the research can help parents find more constructive ways of providing discipline.

"In doing so, physicians strengthen child well-being and parent-child relationships at the population level," they wrote.

They noted that as recently as 1992, physical punishment of children was widely accepted, thought of as distinct from abuse, and considered "appropriate" as a way of eliciting desired behavior.

But research under way at that time was beginning to draw links between physical punishment and aggression in childhood, later delinquency, and spousal assault.   Read More ..

Picture Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada -
Cour suprême du Canada

Corporal Punishment of Children Decision

Read More ..

Alyson Schafer - parent educator - corporal punishment of children and discipline

Alyson Schafer on Spanking and Corporal Punishment of Children

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada's leading parenting experts. She's the author of the best-selling "Breaking the Good Mom Myth" (Wiley, 2006) and host of TV's The Parenting Show a live call-in show in Toronto, Ontario.

The media relies on Alyson's comments and opinions. you can find her interviewed and quoted extensively in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Readers' Digest, Canadian Living, Today's Parents, and Canadian Families.

You can read Alyson's thoughts. Read More ..

Laws on Corporal Punishment of Children from around the World

CTV - Parent education - Parenting style can change child behaviour

Parenting style can change child behaviour News Staff, February 21, 2005

Parents who are punitive tend to have aggressive children. But a new survey suggests that when parenting practices change, a child's behaviour also changes.

The results of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) suggests children show higher levels of aggression, are more anxious and less altruistic when parents have a more punitive parenting style.